Top five Mac OS X Dock keyboard shortcuts

The top five Dock keyboard shortcuts, in no particular order, as culled from MacDailyNews users’ emails and Reader Feedback sections are:

– Click-hold on icons in the Dock (or Control-click) to bring up contextual menus. Hold down the Option key with menus open to see additional options – for instance, Force Quit in application’s Dock context menu.

– Option + Command + clicking on an application in the Dock will select that application and hide all others.

– Command + Tab switches between applications. Command + Tab + Shift reverses direction. Hold Command and click H to hide the application or Q to quit it while traversing the Dock.

– Hold Shift and drag the Dock divider to move the Dock to up, down, or to the right of the screen.
Hold Option and drag the Dock separator (or just drag it without Option) to force the dock to resize.

– Control-click on the Dock divider to bring up Dock options and preferences.

Have others? Let us all know below in this article’s Reader Feedback section.


  1. option + command + clicking on the desktop (not the finder icon) hides all applications.

    option+command +click on the finder icon hides all applications and brings up a new finder window

  2. Dragging a document icon to the dock while holding the option key allows you to select an application to open that document without accidentally docking the document.

  3. Command-Option drag a document onto an application in the dock. Applications that normally would not attempt to open that particular type of document will be forced to try.

  4. Does Kai’s trick of “Press Control + D to navigate the dock with the arrow keys, including inactive apps or folders. Then press Enter or Return to activate/open the item” work for anyone? It doesn’t for me.

  5. wondering if anyone knows how to permanently hide the dock so that it doesn’t pop up if the mouse ventures into its area. this is an annoyance in many cases with programs like photoshop. If you know how to bring it up (cmd, opt, d) it would be nice not to have it “accidentally” jump up when not wanted. Any shareware?

  6. Command+Option+(8) to turn on zooming. Then Command+Option+(+) or Command+Option+(-) to zoom in and out on any application anytime. Then Command+Option+(8) to turn off zooming.

  7. Sorry, but none of these are keyboard shortcuts. These are the top five something else, but not shortcuts… it’s not a keyboard shortcut if part of the operation involves clicking. That’s a pretty important point, because the entire reason to have keyboard shortcuts is to allow the user to perform tasks *without* using the mouse. This is equivalent to posting a list of the top five vegetarian recipes, and each item includes ground beef as an ingredient.

    @kai, for example, has provided a real keyboard shortcut. I would add that pressing the arrow key away from the edge opens up the options for that particular item, and can be navigated via they keyboard.

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